St. Paul man who killed brother spared prison

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 13, 2011 - 8:54 PM

Eric Orloske pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the shotgun that he thought was unloaded discharged when he fell, fatally wounding Brian Orloske.

Eric Orloske

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When Eric Orloske called St. Paul police about his brother being shot, he acknowledged that he had fired the gun. When officers arrived, he said, "Kill me, too. Kill me, too," court records show.

On Thursday, Orloske, 40, was spared prison time when he was sentenced for manslaughter in the March 2010 incident.

Ramsey County District Court Judge John Van De North stayed a 57-month prison sentence and ordered Orloske to serve 285 days in the county correctional facility. He also must serve 10 years' probation and refrain from alcohol and drug use.

In July, when Orloske pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, he testified that he and his brother Brian had been drinking with friends for about three hours on the night of March 6, 2010. After the friends left, Eric Orloske went to get a shotgun because his brother was "wrecking some stuff" and he wanted him to leave, he said.

Earl Gray, his attorney, said Eric Orloske thought the gun was unloaded but that it fired when he fell on the stairs of the home in the 1300 block of Reaney Avenue.

In the weeks prior to sentencing, Gray asked that Orloske not only receive probation rather than a prison term, but that he also be sentenced to 90 days' house arrest instead of time in the county correctional facility.

Gray noted that Orloske admitted himself into a chemical dependency treatment program in April 2010, and was determined to overcome the dependency "that contributed to his current conviction."

A letter written by his father, Thomas Orloske, also detailed how Eric Orloske wanted to ensure that his son had a Catholic education, and how Eric was volunteering at the school.

"Eric is constantly thinking of Brian and is currently taking medication for depression," his father wrote. "I don't believe that anyone could punish Eric anymore that he is punishing himself every day, for the rest of his life. How can it get any worse than that?"

Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041

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